Tory Minister Accuses Nick Ferrari Of 'Gotcha Nonsense' Over Cop27 U-Turn

Graham Stuart said Rishi Sunak's decision to attend the climate summit in Egypt was not driven by Boris Johnson saying he would go.
Graham Stuart clashed with LBC host Nick Ferrari over the government's "mixed messages" on Cop27.
Graham Stuart clashed with LBC host Nick Ferrari over the government's "mixed messages" on Cop27.

A Tory minister has clashed with LBC’s Nick Ferrari over Rishi Sunak’s last-minute decision to attend the Cop27 climate, accusing the presenter of “gotcha nonsense”.

Climate minister Graham Stuart defended Sunak’s decision to go to Sharm El Sheikh after the prime minister initially said he would skip it to focus on “depressing domestic challenges”.

And he said he “very much” doubted that Sunak’s decision to go was influenced by Boris Johnson’s indication that he would also attend the summit.

Ferrari also accused the government of sending out “terrible mixed messages” about the importance of the conference after Therese Coffey, the environment secretary, called it “just a gathering of people in Egypt”.

Ferrari said: “Why does the prime minister need to go then? Terrible mixed messages from the government — can’t even get the message right about Egypt can you?

“It’s hardly surprising that people are drowning in the Channel because of the level of incompetence by your government. Do discuss.”

Stuart hit back: “Well when we took over the presidency, as you’ll know, Nick, I think just 30% of global GDP was covered by net zero pledges. It’s now 90%.

“It’s the UK that led that global conversation.

“I’m obviously pleased that the prime minister is going, I will be going as will other ministers, as was always planned.

“We’re looking to make sure that these pledges convert into action because the science says that we’re not on track globally, for 1.5 degrees. We need to keep it in sight.

He added: “I think it is recognition of those reports means that...the prime minister has found, under an awful lot of other pressures, he has made time to be able to go there and support the team and lead the team.”

Ferrari interjected: “Why should my listeners believe a single word that any of you lot say?”

Stuart replied: ” Ah Nick, you can you can move beyond this gotcha...I know this is your shtick, but let’s be fair...coming up with this kind of gotcha nonsense.”

“It’s your own environment secretary respectfully, minister!” Ferrari replied.

“And respectfully I don’t blame you for pointing out the tensions in those remarks but I think making a big deal out of it doesn’t really serve the issue,” Stuart said.

The LBC presenter then asked whether Sunak had been motivated to attend the summit after his predecessor confirmed he would attend the event after he was invited by organisers.

“I doubt very much that that would have played any role if indeed it was known when the decision was made.

“But I can tell you is, as I say, away from playing this Westminster bubble ‘who said what said’, the big thing is whether we can make a real difference on things like forests, on zero emissions vehicles, building on the breakthrough agenda which we launched in Glasgow.

“But you don’t want to talk about that. You want to talk to me about what one person said that slightly contradicts what I said, you want to mention Boris going as opposed to dealing with issues.

“Nick, do your listeners a favour and focus on the real issues.”


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